Cloud computing refers to delivering computing services such as servers, storage, databases, networking, and software over the Internet. It offers faster innovation, resource flexibility, and economies of scale. Cloud computing adopts “pay as you go,” and hence you only pay for the cloud services you use. This results in reduced operating costs and scaling of the business.
Types of Cloud Services
Cloud computing services fall into the following three main categories.
- Software as a Service (SaaS): This service model hosts applications created by a vendor or a service provider and makes them available to customers over the Internet. Examples for SaaS include G Suite, Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, and Workday.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): In this service model, operating systems and associated services are delivered over the Internet without installing any applications. Customers can create and deploy applications on the cloud platform without investing in the underlying infrastructure. Examples of PaaS include Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): In this service model, storage, hardware, software, servers, and networking components are made accessible over a network by the cloud service provider and used to support operations. Examples of IaaS include Amazon Web Services and IBM Bluemix.
Types of cloud computing:
- Public cloud: Public clouds are owned and operated by third-party cloud service providers, and their computing resources like servers and storage are delivered over the Internet. With a public cloud, all hardware, software, and other supporting infrastructure are owned and managed by the cloud provider and available to individuals or organizations.
- Private cloud: A private cloud refers to cloud computing resources used exclusively by an organization. A private cloud is one in which the services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network and are not made available to individuals. A private cloud can be physically located in the company’s on-premise data center, or some companies also pay third-party service providers to host their private cloud.
- Hybrid cloud: Hybrid cloud combines public and private clouds that allow data and applications to be shared. By allowing data and applications to move between private and public clouds, a hybrid cloud gives your business greater flexibility and helps optimize the existing infrastructure, security, and compliance.
Benefits of cloud computing
Cloud computing eliminates the Capital expenditures (CAPEX) of buying hardware and software and setting up and running on-premise data centers, providing round-the-clock electricity for power and cooling, providing physical security to the data centers, and investing in the IT experts for managing the infrastructure.
Most cloud computing services provide resources, even vast amounts of resources on-demand, within a few minutes, in contrast to the traditional ways of procuring the hardware from the vendors, installing software before using the resources. This provides a lot of flexibility to the business.
Cloud computing services include the ability to scale elastically, which means delivering the right amount of IT resources as per needs. For example, increasing the compute resources of an E-Commerce website during the peak hours of a day / when there are a lot of user requests and then scaling down the resources when there is less traffic.
The cloud computing services run on a worldwide network of secure data centers, which are regularly upgraded. This offers several benefits, such as serving the requests from the right geographical location, thus reducing applications’ latency.
Cloud computing provides data backup and disaster recovery services, mirroring the data at multiple redundant sites on its network to help with business continuity.
Cloud Service Providers offer physical security to the data centers so that only authorized persons can access the data centers. They also provide data security by encrypting the data to safeguard against potential threats.
Top industries that are embracing cloud technologies
The systems used to run the factory lines to handle the inflow of parts and materials that are going into production and the feeding of the end product that goes into systems for delivery are moving to the cloud.
This industry needs both data management storage and data security since it stores so many personal records. Cloud computing can also help healthcare professionals track and keep data about patients’ care, behavior, and health progression.
The agriculture sector has been helping farmers learn more about their environment and crop production using the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data technologies. Paired with an industry cloud, these technologies can give farms and agriculture leaders greater insights.
Due to the massive amounts of data generated in the retail industry, the sector is primed to move to the cloud. To maintain such a large volume of data, retailers must scale data storage and compute power. Cloud technology also helps track the business performance of various retail stores and outlets based on the factors the companies want, which can help improve sales and customer satisfaction.
With the majority of IT workers worldwide still working from home, it is clear that companies need more reliable and scalable infrastructure. According to Gartner, organizations are creating a foundation for new opportunities in digital business, leveraging the services provided by the cloud.
Businesses are growing faster, and the solutions and infrastructures are expected to scale more quickly, which is one of the key reasons many industries migrate their applications to the cloud.